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Published 3 years ago with 13 Comments
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  • Havear (edited 3 years ago)
    +15

    I just want to point out that there may be a false dichotomy -- that he either had to shoot the person or not. Is their only tool and training their gun? EDIT: Actually, what bothers me more is that a gun is for killing things. The officer has every right to defend himself, but it's a traffic stop. Why the hell is he pointing a gun at this guy in the first place? A traffic stop isn't a place for a binary "mind your business"/"die mofo" mentality.

    • the7egend
      +7

      Maybe you didn't read the part where the man, instead of staying in his car like instructed, got out and aggressively approached the officer. It's not expected for everyone to understand a cop's job, but sometimes these people are wanted criminals and will maim, kill, etc in order to escape, the vehicle could have been stolen, there's any number of circumstances. It's obvious the man was violent, or he would have complied to begin with since it was just a routine traffic stop.

      • Havear (edited 3 years ago)
        +4

        No, I read that. That's not really the point I'm trying to get across. Someone aggressively approaching an officer is not a reason to immediately escalate to a life-or-death situation. Should the officer have been prepared? Yes. Used something to defend himself? Yes. Decided he needed to mortally threaten a man during a traffic stop who he had no cause to believe was armed (and who's attitude could have ranged anywhere from 'loudly yelling at officer pissed' to 'making threatening moves')? No. That he then proceeded to lose his service weapon only tops his mistakes.

        • the7egend (edited 3 years ago)
          +1

          Again, like I said, you don't know what his job is like, you don't know if he was in a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood, the fact he pulled his gun means he himself felt mortally threatened, as he obviously should have since his gun was grabbed away from him and he was beat with it. Even as the man reached for his weapon he was not committed to using his full extent of force by firing the weapon. There was no reason for the man to get out of his car, I like how the victim in this crime is being accused of negligence because he pulled his gun on an obviously violent man.

          Edit: http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/al/birmingham/crime/ Here's you a link to how safe Birmingham is.

  • TonyDiGerolamo
    +10

    I would say, like most incidents, let's wait until all the facts are in. This could well be exactly as the cop says, but it could also be complete fiction as the credibility of the police is next to nil these days. That's the real issue here. Instead of trying to rehabilitate their image by toning down their aggressiveness, if anything, most police reflectively defend them all. Where is the all-police organization for the elimination of military grade weapons on local police forces? Where are the cops that call for the vigorous prosecution of corrupt cops? Where are the demands for police union rank and file to keep union resources away from murderous cops? If cops want respect and if they want people to defend them in the media (and this piece seems to be asking that) then they should do something to clean up the violence run amok in their industry. Don't blame the public for not rising to your defense. Do a better job policing your own people.

    • Qukatt (edited 3 years ago)
      +6

      Hell, cops in the UK don't generally go around shooting people (they don't usually carry guns to start with but even tasers lets say) with some obvious exceptions to that like Charles de menzes, and they still have a lukewarm reputation. mostly circling around how friggan slow they are to get anywhere and how reluctant some of them seem to do anything about a situation they can ignore/avoid.

      We have to admit that people who are paid by the government to control and interfere with our everyday business will never have a sparkly reputation in the public (You can see this contrast with the much much better opinion many Americans have about their armed forces, who are paid by the government to control and interfere in OTHER people's business.. so that's ok yeah? but y'all have an amendment to own weapons in case they try to interfere in your business on order of the government so you can fight them off. I think that's the Perfect highlight on this whole thing) or the media. Not until you specifically have been helped or saved by a cop will you actually and truly appreciate them in some way and even then you'll identify it with that one patrol person or that one particular office and not cops as whole.

      I would say I'm pretty police friendly; i call them when it's needed, i trust them on the streets generally but i am still of the opinion that they're pretty darn impotant given how often i have to call them for the exact same issue over and over and they always ALWAYS turn up too late to really do anything.

      Don't get me wrong though - the things you've stated would most certainly help. Especially putting murderous cops out the Unions, that's a fairly decent idea. Just that "the Public" will never really be at ease with the Police Force.

      • TonyDiGerolamo
        +4

        In the U.S., the police enjoyed a fairly good reputation for many years unless you lived in a poor area or an urban area. But even in suburban and richer communities, the reputation of the cops in the U.S. has plummeted. Part of it is the amount of power they now wield has corrupted them. The power invites corruption. No one being pulled over by a cop will be happy about, but there's a world a difference between a cop just doing his job and a bored bureaucrat messing with you because he's bored.

        • Qukatt
          +3

          Or not investigating a car crash scene for 3 days and both the car's occupants died from being left in a ditch all that time despite people calling the cops on day 1?

          You dont have to be actively aggressive to get a fatal outcome.

      • ernunnos
        +1

        Criminals in the UK are far more likely to give up when confronted. Take a look at the list of UK police fatalities. There are entire years without a single death from any cause. (Traffic accidents, heart attacks suffered during foot chases, etc.) If you compare deaths caused by attacks by suspects you have to go back 25 years to get as many deaths as US cops had by in 2014 alone. Granted, the UK is a smaller country, but even going by rate per capita, cops in the US are forced to defend themselves much more often.

        • Qukatt
          +2

          Yeah I know, our cops are what you get when they get bogged down in red tape, discharge weapon? Full investigation! Makes them equally useless and hated because they are pretty much useless now.

          I wasn't saying they killed people with brutality I was saying that even though they don't their reputation is still very "meh" and eradicating police brutality in America won't make them suddenly some shining paragon to the public. The public will always be wary of police.

    • a7h13f
      +3

      It looks like, in this instance, the officer would have been within his rights to shoot the suspect. The suspect has a history of violent crimes, and all accounts agree that he stepped out of his vehicle and attacked the officer. The only question is why he was pulled over in the first place. Some news agencies, as this one, are reporting that the vehicle was "driving erratically" while others suggest the traffic stop was in relation to the burglaries the officer was investigating.

  • frohawk
    +7

    You don't have a taser? You couldn't shoot in a non-lethal area?

    There has to be a middle ground.

    • Brandon816 (edited 3 years ago)
      +4

      Police can't really shoot someone approaching them with hostile intent in a non-lethal area. They can and will get sued for it.

      I do wish that tasers and less-than-lethal ammunition would get used more often, though, since there are very few cases where you need to shoot to kill as an officer. Suffering from a bruise just doesn't have the same effect as an open gunshot wound, both in the media and in surviving. Even if this would bring about more instances of officers discharging their weapons, I feel like the increase in survival rate of the people on the other end would be appreciated by everyone involved.

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